…ok so maybe some of you knew 🙂
- Africa is booming: Africa has been the second-fastest-growing region in the world over the past 10 years, with average annual growth of5.1 per cent over the past decade, driven by greater political stability and economic reforms that have unleashed the private sector in many countries.Poverty is also on the retreat.
- Africa is poised to have the largest labour force in the world: By 2035, Africa’s labour force will be bigger than that of any individual country in the world, which offers the continent a chance to reap a demographic dividend, using its young and growing workers to boost economic growth.
- African workers are better educated than ever before: Today 40 per cent of Africans have some secondary or tertiary education. By 2020, it will be nearly half.
- Steady work is still hard to find in Africa: But here’s the bad news: only 28 per cent of Africans have stable, wage-paying jobs. To reap the benefits of its positive demographics and advancements in education, Africa needs to quickly create more jobs. Although it has created 37 million stable, wage-paying jobs over the past decade, 91 million people have been added to its labour force.As a result, 9 per cent of the workforce is officially unemployed, and nearly two thirds of workers sustain themselves through subsistence activities and low-wage self-employment. Youth unemployment is also a major challenge.
- With a few reforms, massive job growth is within Africa’s reach: The experience of other emerging economies shows that Africa could accelerate its creation of stable jobs dramatically. When they were at a similar stage of development as Africa today, Thailand, South Korea and Brazil generated jobs at double or triple the rate of Africa’s.
- Africa can become the world’s bread basket: Africa has about 60 per cent of the world’s unused cropland, providing it with a golden opportunity to simultaneously develop its agricultural sector and reduce unemployment. On current trends, African agriculture is on course to create 8 million wage-paying jobs between now and 2020.With two important reforms, however, Africa could add 6 million more jobs. First, policymakers could encourage expansion of large-scale commercial farming on to uncultivated land. African countries need to reform land rights and water management, build up their infrastructure and improve access to inputs such as seeds, finance and insurance to boost agriculture.
- It’s often cheaper for Africans to buy goods made in China than those made at home: African manufacturing is declining as a share in most economies, and that needs to stop. Africa is on course to generate 8 million new manufacturing jobs by 2020 but could nearly double that tally if it can reverse this trend.High transportation and input costs, duties and bureaucracy are some of the obstacles that have hindered African manufacturing.
- Nigeria’s four largest cities still have only six shopping malls: Africa’s rising number of consumers is already driving growth in retailing, but the sector could grow much faster. The potential of retail still goes largely unrealised: In Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana and Nigeria, nearly three-quarters of groceries are bought in tiny informal outlets. If barriers to foreign players were removed and action was taken to boost the share of modern retail outlets, this industry could finally hit its stride.
- Africa needs more than petrodollars: Mining, oil, and gas contribute significantly to Africa’s GDP, but these sectors employ less than 1 per cent of the workforce.Africa needs a jobs strategy, not just a growth strategy. Countries need explicit programmes to create jobs, targeted at labour-intensive sectors that enjoy comparative advantage.
- The future for Africa looks bright – but there’s still a lot of work to be done: More than 300 million Africans will remain in vulnerable jobs in 2020. And even if governments are successful at promoting job creation, the number will keep rising for at least another 20 years because the labour force is expanding so quickly.
Thanks for stopping by 🙂